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Disclosure to Promote the Right To Information 

Whereas the Parliament of India has set out to provide a practical regime of right to 
information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, 
in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, 
and whereas the attached publication of the Bureau of Indian Standards is of particular interest 
to the public, particularly disadvantaged communities and those engaged in the pursuit of 
education and knowledge, the attached public safety standard is made available to promote the 
timely dissemination of this information in an accurate manner to the public. 

Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan 
"The Right to Information, The Right to Live'' 

SP 1650 Supplement (1973) : Standard colours for building 
and decorative finishes- supplement ONLY [CED 13: Building 
Construction Practices including Painting, Varnishing and 
Allied Finishing] 

Jawaharlal Nehru 
'Step Out From the Old to the New" 

aj^&vi f 7ui^s:y%K^ isb^^ni^seg 

:<>5&i| mT'5K^5?::5:^>^i»l 


Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda 
Invent a New India Using Knowledge 

Bhartrhari — Nitisatakam 
''Knowledge is such a treasure which cannot be stolen" 











( Pint Reprint MAY 1985) 
UDC 667-12 : 698- 1 

SUPPLEMENT TO SP:1650- 1973 

Reaffirmed 2000 

© Copyright 1973 


NEW DELHI 110002 

SUFPLENfENT TO SP s 1650 - 1973 


{ Clauses A and 2.1 ) 



A*l.l Achromatic Seosations — Visual sensations de\*oid ofthc attribute of hue. 

A»l*2 Additive MIxtarc -*- The mixture or light vstimuli in such a manner that they enter 
the eye simultaneouslv or in rapid succession and are incident on the same area of the 
retina^ or enter in the form of a mosaic which the eye cannot resolve. 

A*13 Black 

A«l^.t A visual sensation arising from some portion of a luminous field of extremely 
low luminosity. 

A-1,3.2 As deHned in ( A-1.3.I ), but applied to a secondary source which Is completely 
absorbing at a)l visible wavelengths. 

Note — The terms 'white* and 'black' are not always used in the strict sense 
defined above. It is usual toapplv them to greys and neutrals, the luminance factor 
of which is nearly unity or nearly zero respectively. 

AAA Black Conteat -*• The subjectively estimated amount of blackness seen in the visual 

sensation arising from a surface colour. 

A*] .5 Brightness — That colour quality, a decrease in which it associated with the 
residual degradation which would result from the addition of a small quantity of neutral 
grey to the colourim; material when the strrn^th of the mixture has been readjusted to the 
original strength ( comparison brighter ). 

A-1.6 Colour 

A*1.6J That characteristic of visual sensation which enables the observer to distinguish 
diflfcrences in the quality ot the sensation ofthc kind which can be caused by difi'erences in 
the spectral composition of the light. 

A«li6.2 That characteristic of the light stimulus, light source or object, which gives rise 
to the visual sensation in a red light, a white light, a red face, etc. 

A»1.6»3 At defined in (A*L6.1) or (A*1.6.2), but restricted to the appearance of 
' redness, greenness, etc, as distinct from whiteness, greyness or blackness; that is chromatic 
colour in contra-distinction to achromatic colour. 

A«I»7 Complementary GoUours 

A*l»7«l Additioi '— Any two colours which, by additive mixture, can be made to match 
a specified achromatic colour. 

AoI.7«2 Sublraetw — Any two absorbing media which, by subtractive mixture, can be 
made to match a specified achromatic colour. 

A«1.8 Colour Gontaat — The subjectively estimated amount of colourfulneas seen in the 
visual leniation arising from a surface colour. Similar to chroma. 

SUPPLEMENT TO SP s 1650 « 1973 

A-1.9 Cleaner — A difference apparently due to the presence of less black than in the 
original sample. 

A-1.10 Cool Colours — Green or blue, or colours which exhibit a predominance of these. 

A-Ul Chromatic Sensations — Visual sensations possessing the attribute of hue. 

A*1.12 Dichroism — A phenomenon in which a secondary source shows a marked change 
in hue with change in the observing conditions. Instances are: (a) change in colour 
temperature of the lUumtnant, (b) change in concentration of an absorbing material, (c) 
change in thickness of an absorbing layer, (d) change in direction of illumination or 
viewing, and (e) change in conditions of polarization. 

A-1.13 Dullness — That colour quality, an increase in which is associated with the 
residual degradation which would result from the addition of a small quantity of neutral 
grey to the colourine material when the strength of the mixture has been readjusted to 
the original strength (comparison duller ). 

A-1.14 Deeper — A difference apparently due to the presence of Irss white than in the 
original sample. 

A-1.15 Dirtier/Duller — A difference apparently due to the presence of more black than 
in the original sample. 

A*1.16 Full Colours — Surface colours which are produced with the maximum 
colourfulncss obtainable. 

A.1.17 Grey 

A-1.17.1 Any achromatic sensation of luminosity intermediate between black and white. 

A-1.17.2 As defined in (A-1.17.1 ), but applied to a secondary source which is partially 
absorbing at some or all visible wavelengths but from which the reflected or transmitted 
light has the same colour as that of the incident light. 

A*l>18 Hue — Attribute of visual sensation which has given rise to colour names, such as 
blue, green, yellow, red and purple. 

A-1.19 Light — Radiant power (energy flux) capable of stimulating the eye to produce 
visual sensation. 

A«1.20 Minus Colours — Colours in which only the spectral components associated with 
the colour named are not present to any substantial extent, for example, minus red. 

A-1.21 Munsell Chroma — The estimated pure chromatic colour content of a surface 
colour on a scale of equal sensation intervals extending from grey ( chroma » }, as 
specified objectively by the samples of the Munsell Atlas ( tee Note ). 

Note — The Munsell system presents the closest attempt at representing the colour 
solid of surface colours b^ samples spaced at equal sensation intervals, and therefore 
the closest correlation with the subjective variables, which are chroma, lightness 
( called value ) and hue. 

A-1.22 Munsell Value — The estimated lightness of any surface colour on a scale of 10 
equal sensation intervals extending from ideal black ( value » ) to ideal white 
( value s= 10 }, as specified objectively for values from I to 9 in the Munsell Atlas ( ue Note 
under A- 1.21 ). 

A-1,23 Munsell Hue — The hue of a surface colour on a scale of 100 equal sensation 
intervals round a colour circle of constant chroma, as specified objectively by the tamplet 
of the Munsell Atlas ( see Note under A.1.21 ). 

SUPPLEMENT TO SP 1 1650. 1973 

A-1.24 MaM Tone — The colour by reflected light of a bulk of undiluted pigment. 

A»1.25 Neutral Grey — Applied to a secondary source which is equally absorbing at 
al! visible wavelengths. 

A-l«26 Primary Light Source — A body or object emitting light by virtue of a 
transformation of energy into radiant energy within itself. 

A«1.27 Shade "^ A colour of the Fame hue and saturation but lower luminosity. 

A-1.28 Shadow Series 

A-1.28,1 Suhjeciwt-^A series of colours of varying luminosity but constant hue and 

A-1.28.2 ObjiCtWi'^A series of colours of varying luminance, but constant chromatidty. 

A-1,29 Strength — That colour quality^ an increase in which is associated with an 
increase in the concentration of the colouring material present, all other conditions 
( viewing, etc ) remaining the same ( comparisons stronger, weaker). 

A»1.30 Stronger — A difference apparently due to the presence of more colour dian in 
the original sample. 

A-1.31 Subtractive Mixture — The mixture of absorbing media or the superposition of 
filters so that the composition of the lig[ht stimulus passing through the combination is 
determined by the simultaneous or successive absorption of parts of the spectrum by each 
medium present. 

A*1.32 Secondary Light Source — A body or object transmitting or reflecting light 
falling on it from any other source, whether primary or secondary. 

A-1.33 Tint — The weak colour resulting from the addition to white of a imall amount of 
colouring matter. 

A.1.34 Tinge — A trace of added colour. 

A-1.35 Tone — A slight variant of a colour. 

A-1.36 Undertone — The colour of a pigment when it is used in very thin layers or 
greatly extended with white, the hue of which may often differ from that of the masstone. 

A-1.37 Warsn Colours "— Red, orange or yellow, or colours which exhibit a prcdomi* 
nance of these. 

A-1.38 Weaker — A difference apparently due to the presence of less colour than in the 
original sample. 

A-1,39 White 

A-1.S9.1 An achromatic sensation of relatively high luminosity. 

A-l«39.2 As defined in (A.1.39.1), but applied to a secondary source which is non- 
absorbing at all visible wavelengths. 

A-1.40 White Content — The subjectively estimated amount of whiteness seen in the 
visual sensation arising from a surface colour. 

A-1.41 Whiter -^ A difference apparently due to the presence of more white than in the 
original sample. 

SUPPLEMENT TO 8Ps 1650. 1973 


{Clauses OA and6A ) 



B»l«l The range is based on BS 2660 : 1935 ' Colours for building and decorative painu* 
which was developed to meet most of the demands of architects and other paint users. The 
diiefneeds were to select colours and set them forth so that good combinations could be 
found easily and quickly and to hayc a range moderate in iizz but capable, nevcrchflcss, of 
agenerotu variety of architectural expression. Its success ties in its being comprehensive 
enough to allow designers the scope of selection without feelinji; themselves unduly restiict- 
ed, at the tame time giving sufHcient emphasis to ths interplay of colours for creating a 
background suited to the particular purposes of the interior and to variations of lighting 
and form. 

B*l*2 The following three principles prevailed in preparing the range: 

a) The whole field of possible colours was reduced to simple terms by division into 
categories, each of these having recognized significance in design. 

b) The range was to contain as many pleasant and harmonious combinations of 
colour as possible. 

c) The limitations of paint pigments and the need for reliable performance were to 
be accepted in the detailed choice of colour. 

B-1.2.1 In the first principle, the term 'categories* means colours of a particular light- 
ness, strength or hue. In this standard, the colours conform, for the most part, to nine 
different lightnesses, nine hue groups, and four categories of strength. 

B-l»2*2 The second principle^ namely, of selection for harmony, is partly met by the 
spacing of the colours into their various categories, because this helps to avoid the 
unpleasant or weak eflfects which occur when colours are neither the same nor clearly 
different. Nevertheless, there is room for 'smoothing' of the range. by further additions 
of colours in due course. 

B-1.3 Among the strong colours given in card 0, the < Chroma ' ( see B-2.1.3 } in the case 
of green-yellow, green, blue*green, blue and purple has been deliberately kept lower than 
for others in view of the limitations of lightfastness of the pigments used to produce them, 

IU1.4 It may be noted that greys are dealt with rather liberally in view of their importance 
in building and dectMrative finishes. 

B-1.5 To answer the general needs of architecu and to reduce demands of special colours, 
it is gathered out of expertence that about 100 colours would be required in the minimum. 
BS 2660 : 1955 has in all 101 colours displayed in its charts, liie range is intended to be 
a self-sufficient unit and no extension of this range by ' mixing of colours ' is visualized. 

SUrPLEMENT TO SP 1 1650 . 1973 


Jl^»l In the ' Muasell * tystcm, the colours are specified in terms of hue» value and 

B»2*l*l Hu$ distinguishes red from blue,-grccn from yellow^ etc, and is denoted by letter 
( for example, R (or red, BG for blue-green ) with prefix numbers, namely, 2'5, 7-5 or 10. 
If, for example, the R ( red ) number is greater than 5, the colour inclines to ^e yellow, 
red ( YR ), and if the R number is leu than 5, ifac colour inclines to red-purple ( RP ), 
and so on round the hue circle. 

E*2«l«2 Valm is related to lightneu or darkness of a colour and is quoted as rangrng 
from to 10; the low figures represent the darker colours and finally black (0), the high 
figurei represent the light colours and finally white (10). A rough estimate of the 
rdcctance as a percentage H given by the formula V ( V — I )» where V is the 'value *. 
Thus, colours of similar values have similar refiectances. 

B-2.I«3 Chroma is strength of colour and is based on a vcale finom neutral grey (*/0) 
towards full-strength at any given ' value * level. Steps are denoted numericajly at even 

B-2.2 A complete ' Munsell ' reference for a colour, for example* 7*5 R 9/2, means : 

a) the hue of 7*5 R denoting a red inclined towards ycUow-redt 

b) the value 9 denoting a very light colour, and 

c) the chroma 2 indicating that the strength of the colour is low. 

A broad description of the colour would, therefore, be * pale-pink '. 

B*2.S It should be noted, however, that neutral greys, having no hue or chronm, are 
denoted by the value figure prefixed by ' N ', for example, ' N6 ' or ' N8 '• 

B»2.4 In the design of the colour range, * Munsell * references provide the means of defin* 
ing the various categories of colour required. In conjunction with the ten-card, presentation, 
the references make the different categories of colour fully explicit. For example, the 
main source for wall colours for interiors is likely to be the ' greys * on card 9 or the soft 
colours on the left-hand side of cardi 1 to 8, and it may be seen from the rderences that 
among these the range provides lome vertical sequences of colours wrh constant * hue ' 
and ' chroma * but with alternatives of * values '. The references thus help in many ways 
to link the choice of colours to functions.